Dear Dr. Archer,
I'll try to be as brief as possible on a long and complicated story. I have serious depression. I think about suicide every day, and have taken steps in that direction, but I'm delaying for the moment.
I have no money, no insurance for therapy which I probably need, but not sure if I care enough to have the energy to bother searching for free help, other than here.
I've been with the same man for 30 years, off and on, and we're at the point where, I hate to admit it but, I think I've come to hate him. He's an alcoholic who's in denial. I'm a smoker of both tobacco and medicinal marijuana. I feel shattered and broken inside from his emotional abuse that he both denies and feels is justified.
We live with and take care of his 91 year old demented mom. This is stressful, as is living only on his mom's monthly retirement money. His sister, who is trustee of a large estate and has total control of the money, has torn us apart.
We've slept in separate rooms for the past three years, don't eat together and don't do anything together besides run errands because we don't have money for anything else.
We argue all the time, and that's when we do speak at all. He's always the talker, and gets upset when I get bleary eyed when he's talking at me, throwing my past at me.
I'm down on the ground and he keeps kicking. I haven't worked a regular 9 to 5 job in years. I was a massage therapist for a while, but didn't make enough money; now I have chronic hip and lower back pain plus foot and shoulder pain, preventing me from being on my feet too long.
I'm also menopausal at 56. I hate getting old. I feel dry and used up, lost all interest in sex and everything else I used to enjoy doing.
I feel stuck in this situation with no hope. I have no friends, nowhere to go, no money, no skills to do anything to earn decent money. I've isolated myself for the most part to protect myself from further pain, staying in my room most of the day doing jigsaw puzzles online. I welcome solitude, death and pray for something quick to take me.
I know it's all my own fault. I made the choices I did and no one else. I'm disappointed those choices have brought me to the point of no choice. Did I tell you I'm also angry? I'm a raging wreck inside, and I hate everything in my life and my world, except for my kitties. They drive me a little crazy sometimes, but I love them.
So, what do you think? Is there any hope for me? Can you help me at all? I feel like I want to die; I just don't see a future for me.
There IS hope for you. You DO have a future -- a good future -- in store for you. However, as long as you remain where you are, stagnant, living with a man you realize you hate, while the two of you live off of his poor 91 year old mother's retirement money, you will continue to be miserable, depressed and hope death rescues you. This is no way to live.
First, see a psychiatrist. You are probably clinically depressed and if you are having thoughts of suicide you must get this addressed. If you can’t get into see one right away, then go to the ER and tell them about the thoughts.
Next, don't tell me you cannot find work, Jean. You can; you're just not looking. Nothing in your life is going to change if you continue to be negative and spend your days playing online jigsaw puzzles.
You're not dried and used up at all, but you are in a situation that's making you feel that way. I assure you, no job will come looking for you. Change how you live your life and you change the whole dynamics of your world.
Look in your newspapers. Jobs ARE out there, and many offer training while you work. Does something catch your eye but you're not sure about the position? Apply anyway, because you just might get it or it might open up a different door for you.
If you're on facebook, advertise you're looking for a job. You love your kitties, which is great. Veterinarians are always looking for office help, and most of those positions don't require being on your feet all day. They do, however, require someone to interact well with clients.
Quit making excuses, Jean, and get to work. No one is going to pull you out of this funk but yourself. Yes, you need to see a psychiatrist, but you can do this at the same time.
You need to feel like you have worth, and you're sure not feeling that with the way you're living now. You need to support yourself and feel like you're contributing something worthwhile to the world.
Start working and save up some money to move into your own place. If you need help, talk to your soon-to-be ex-roommate's sister, as she may be able to help you find either a job, a place to live or both.
Do not let fear of the unknown stop you from starting to live your life again! Once you become self-sufficient you will be amazed how much better you're going to feel.
Remember, your biggest problem is the way you're living your life. If you remain where you are, you will stay stagnant and miserable. Get out of this relationship and learn to enjoy your life again. Once you do that, you will soon realize 56 is still young and there's plenty of fun left to experience.
All the best!